* Evolution Fresh, La Boulange and Teavana to headline
* Analysts expect update on Verismo brewer sales
* Company could announce changes to UK tax policies
By Lisa Baertlein
Dec 5 Starbucks Corp is expected to
outline plans to turn recent juice, tea and bakery acquisitions
into bigger profits for its non-coffee operations at an investor
conference in New York on Wednesday.
The company could also announce changes to its UK tax
policies, after criticism from lawmakers and the media over
strategies that let it minimize payments.
Seattle-based Starbucks, the world's largest coffee chain,
aims to expand its reach beyond coffee and the four walls of its
own cafes. Its purchases of Evolution Fresh, for $30 million in
November 2011, and Bay Bread LLC's La Boulange Bakery, for $100
million in July, are part of that plan.
Analysts expect executives to lay out their strategy for
expanding sales of Evolution Fresh bottled juices via Starbucks
cafes and other retailers. Some predicted that Starbucks would
also accelerate its roll-out of pastries and other goodies from
La Boulange, a popular San Francisco-area bakery.
Food has long been a weak link at Starbucks, which
previously said it would have La Boulange products in 2,500 of
its company-operated U.S. shops beginning this spring.
Starbucks will be tighter-lipped when it comes to Teavana
Holdings, since it has yet to close its $620 million
purchase of the 300-store chain, which sells loose-leaf, exotic
Starbucks already said it plans to add "tea bars" to
existing Teavana stores. The goal is to replicate the success it
had adding coffee drinks to the menu at its early Starbucks
stores, which sold whole bean coffee.
"There is always a risk when you take on all these brands,"
said Bernstein Research Sara Senatore, who added that Starbucks
mitigated that risk by making deals that fit specifically with
its long-term growth plans.
Analysts also are looking for an update on sales of
Starbucks' new at-home Verismo coffee and espresso brewer, which
aims to grab a piece of the fast-growing single-serve market
dominated by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc and
The UK tax question is also likely to come up, given the
pressure the company has faced of late. Starbucks said on Sunday
that it was considering changes to its UK tax practices, while
repeating that it had always complied with British tax laws.
It said it would release more details on the matter this